Posted by: Beemer Bob | August 29, 2010

2010/08 – Pike’s Peak or Bust (Let’s just call this one “Bust”)


OVERVIEW

This report is about a solo adventure by yours truly done in August, 2010. I called this trip

Pike’s Peak or Bust!”, Original – huh!

I had been told (mostly by my nagging brother) that I am too old and my bike is too big to do this kind of trip and that my plan to do this solo is foolhardy and dangerous. With that advice, I was compelled to do it! Was my brother right or was he just nagging? Or was he right and nagging? Read on.

The Plan, boss, the plan

From home in Central Texas, head to the southern end of the Continental Divide Route (CDR) in New Mexico, then proceed north thru the CDR until mid Colorado. At that point I would head east and ride to the top of Pike’s Peak! BW: I am terrified of heights.

After conquering Pike’s Peak for the Texas Republic, I then planed to visit the historic towns of Cripple Creek and Victor. From Victor, I was to head to the Royal Gorge by way of the Phantom Canyon trail. I hoped to cross the Royal Gorge Bridge after which I begin another cross country endeavor southwest to arrive at the Great Sand Dunes by way of the Medano Pass Primitive route.

If I survived all off this, the rest of the planned trip was pavement. From the Great Sand Dunes, I would then head to Roswell, New Mexico in search of illegal aliens. Providing I was not abducted at Area 51, I would head to the house.

This trip was estimated to be about 2 1/2 weeks. In less then a week, however, the name of this trip went from “Pikes Peak or Bust”, to simply “Bust”.

What went wrong? Well I guess you will just have to read on.

There was a lot of planning for this trip and every effort was made to bring provisions needed for this type of adventure, in addition to camping gear, I had tools, first aid, extra gas, a couple bladders of water, food, etc.

I also carried water purification, ropes and pulleys to extract bike if needed.

Another item I carried was a tracking device called SPOT. This little gadget sends GPS type signals that allows one to track my movement from the blog. More importantly though, is with this device I am able to signal roadside assistance or 911 even when I am not in cell phone range. When it sends a signal, the recipient also receives my exact GPS coordinates. This allows the receiver know exactly where I was. So rescue, if needed, would be a simple process – Right? Well …. Perhaps not so much.. As I have just learned.

All packed and ready to go. Scarface has a full load and anxiously awaits departure.

Pikes Peak or Bust Pikes Peak or Bust

This was my planed route
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********** Day 1 **********

I depart on my epic journey, August 18, 2010

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Got an early start and made good progress.

Weather was nice in the morning, but as I traveled through West Texas, the temp did get to a mild 105 for most the afternoon.

I had planned to break the trip up, but I was making good time, so I forged on

Scenery was typical west Texas with oil pumps or wind generators as far as the eye could see.

Drastic change as I approached the Guadalupe Mountains. Absolutely beautiful! I thought about camping there, but decided to continue onward. Too hot to stop and enjoy much and “West Texas” and “shade trees” are not words often used together. At least while riding, I can generate a breeze.

My plan was to make it to New Mexico near the start of the CDR. But right outside of El Paso, my brand new Garmin Zumo 660 GPS, died.

I was just riding along, and poof. She stops working. I have gone all through everything and verified that it had power and that all the fuses are good. I kicked it, called it names, and pleaded. No life at all.

That puts a big kink in my plans and I’m not sure what to do now. I do not think trying to do CDR by maps alone is a good idea.

I was so disgusted I just found a cheap sleazy motel in El Paso and called it a day?

I had made a post on my blog and TWT (A Texas motorcycle rider’s forum) for ideas.

Part of me just wanted to call thus trip a bust at this point and head back home, but after traveling over 600 miles in the scorching heat, that would be a waste.

I could still continue on to Pikes Peak but do it by slab roads that I could navigate with maps only. If I do that, heading north from El Paso would there be some good routes and places to see?

I’m so disgusted with this turn of events; I just find a sleazy motel and call it a day.

I hope to have a new plan by morning.

• End of Day 1 – G’Nite Y’all

***** Day 2 – New Day!! GPS lives *****

My good friend James (aka: JBay), upon leaning my plight, did some Internet searches and found how to reset the Garmin by removing the battery and emailed me that information. His suggestion worked! After resetting the unit, all is well

So the original plan of CDR is back in play. I’m close, so I should be on the trail by this afternoon.

I owe JBay a six pack! Thanks for the rescue James. I am a happy guy today. BTW: My wife later blames James for the trouble that eventually results. If James had not told me how to fix my GPS, then I would have stuck to common roads and not …. Not what you say? …… Read on.

Well after a so-so night at an over priced sleazy motel, I make a run for the border

Pikes Peak or Bust

Last time I stayed at a sleazy motel, it was right by train tracks. This one was at the end of an airport runway. But the cockroaches did not seem to mind. Next time I’m going for a Motel 6.

Anyway, I head into New Mexico going towards the Mexican border crossing at Antelope Wells (the unofficial official beginning of the CDR). The route I took was a small two lane road that pretty much hugged the border. The only other cars I saw were border patrol vehicles. Well there was this car I saw off to the side that seemed to be unloading water and provisions. Almost is if they were expecting folks to come walking by in need of provisions. Umm.

I stopped at the next posted boarder patrol truck. I told him what and where I saw and he seemed to be very interested and went to go converse with those folks. I continued west.

I stop for breakfast at a very picturesque little town (Columbus, NM)

Pikes Peak or BustPikes Peak or Bust

When I reach the very small town of Hachita, I head south. This is a section of New Mexico that then protrudes south about 50 – 70 miles. There was no purpose of going to the official starting point other than a photo op at the border. Its boring straight pavement in the middle of a desert and I would have to ride south to the border for the photo op, then turn around and ride the same road back to Hachita. Seems like a waste of time. But I have gone further and wasted more time for photo ops, so might as well. Hey, as long as I am riding my bike, it is time well spent.

Well I make it to the border and get the obligatory picture

Pikes Peak or BustPikes Peak or Bust
Pikes Peak or Bust

I then turn around and head north on the same road (dumb, huh?). As I am heading back, it occurs to me; when is the last time I have inspected Scarface’s underside? I can’t remember, so I stop and lay Scarface down in the middle of the road.

Pikes Peak or Bust

I check the underside.

All looks OK

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So I continued on.

Ok, well perhaps I didn’t stop to inspect Scarface’s underside.

As I was heading back north on this desolate highway, I thought the scenery was interesting. Mountains in the background but a long straight road in a desert like area. So I stopped to take a picture. I put the kickstand down and lean the bike on the stand. Let’s see, I did put the kickstand down didn’t I? Well apparently not down well enough, so timber. Damn, I hate it when I do that. Some day I will learn. Or not.

Anyway, now how to get the beast back up? I carry rope and a series of pulleys to assist with that task. So all I need to do is find a tree to attach the set to. This is the current landscape

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No trees, so that plan won’t work. I have two options left. Unload all the gear, gas can, etc. to lighten the load so I can left it. Or to wait until someone comes along to help. Surely other people use this road too. Border patrol or a “visitor” from the other side of the border. I elect to give the latter a chance, so I wait.

Oh while I’m waiting, might as well take that scenery picture.

Pikes Peak or Bust

Someone does come by shortly and gives me a hand. I continue back to Hachita. BTW: the town of Hachita consist of a small general store and, well nothing. I did, however, find this abandoned church that I thought was an interesting shot.

Pikes Peak or Bust

I top of my tank in Hachita and when I go to start it – nothing! No electrical at all. Zip! Thinking somehow I had blown another battery (and didn’t bother to explore other causes), I pulled the bike of to the side. As I am out of cell phone range, I signaled for road side assistance using my SPOT (hence the red help flags on my tracking). On a side note, I had thought that I could signal roadside assistance and it would be my little secret and never have to admit to it. But as it turns out, it does show little red flags on my tracking, so I have to admit to it and explain it.

In the meantime, I was able to get someone to give me a jump to start it, so I canceled the roadside assistance request.

I continue heading north, but I’m still thinking I have a blown battery so I’m careful to not to kill the engine and I go in search of a place that sells motorcycle batteries. I am not able to find any place to help me until I get to Silver City.

I find “Copper Country ATV & Cycle Shop” in Silver City. They run some diagnostics and determined that my battery was fine; it was just a loose connection is all. They tighten everything down and send me on my way. Gee, I should have checked that myself. They would not let me pay them anything for their time. So please folks, if you are ever in Silver City, go to this shop if you need motorcycle service.

Then I’m having some odd problem with my iPhone and by time I got that resolved, it was already after 5, so I find me a Motel 6 and crash.

– End of Day 2. G’nite Y’all

***** Day 3 *****

I understand that I start getting into more challenging roads today (day 3). The weather forecast is for rain this afternoon, so I get going first thing in the morning and try to get as far as I can before the rain comes. I have been told that the dirt routes in this area become very slippery when wet. If I do hit rain, I may have to find some pavement and detour around.

Shortly out of Silver City, I enter the Gila National Forest. I pause to adjust suspension, tire pressure, etc.

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The route begins to get challenging.

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I continue on. I have some trouble finding the route, but I finally find it and strive to cut through the forest. And then I come upon ..

Drats, a locked gate! This portion of the forest is now private property and access is denied. Pooh. Now I have to back tract the same way I got here. Oh well. It was still fun riding.

Back on pavement, I detour around this section. You should be able to see on my tracking were I had to go around just north of Silver City

I stop in the small town of San Lorenzo for a southwestern style breakfast with burnt toast.

They did not charge extra for the burnt toast. What a deal!

I’m now able to get back on the route.

Oh wait! There are some signs. Let’s go see what they say.

Oh well! That’s part of the adventure. So onward I go

At first, not so bad.

Then it gets a bit more interesting

By time I get to the area of the washed our canyon, I’m having a ball.

A lot of the wash out and erosion problems were caused by a recent forest fire. Not currently raining but it had been recently and I could smell burnt ash in the damp air.

Pikes Peak or Bust
Past the canyon, I hit sand. Yippie.

As I continue, the trail narrows and hugs a sharp drop off.

These pictures don’t show the drop off very well. There were even steeper ones but I was too scared to get close enough to take a picture.

I took the inside lane and tried not to look down. I have installed a custom horn that sounds more like a Mac truck then a motorcycle, so every time I come around a blind turn, I blast my horn to warn oncoming traffic that there is a big is truck coming and get out of my way. But I never see anyone anyway.

As I leave the rocky canyon area, I find this sign for the road I had just traveled.

Boy I wish I had brought a tripod so I could have been in the picture. At this point I am grinning from ear to ear. Look what I just did!

I am making very slow progress because of the road condition. I have been averaging about 15 – 20 mph. I’m getting great gas mileage, but not much trip mileage. Another problem has been the oxygen or lack there of. I’ve been at about 7500 to 8000 most of the day. My body is used to an altitude closer to sea level. I have needed to stop and rest to catch my breath frequently. At this point in time, I am spent. I don’t want to fool around and get altitude sickness, so I decide to quit very early today and let my body acclimate.

I find a nice area in the forest and set up camp

Pikes Peak or Bust

Views from my hammock

The previous campers at this site had constructed a nice rock rimed fire pit, so a cozy campfire was in order.

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I go to sleep with a big smile on my face. Today was tiring, but I had a blast.

– End of day 3. – g’nite y’all

***** Day 4 *****

I woke up feeling great and ready to conquer the divide. It even got a little cold last night. Great sleeping weather and a welcome relief from the Texas heat.

The road is much better until I reach this stream

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Once through the steam, the road turns to deep sand and silt. Ugh

This continued for several miles. A lot of washed out areas with ruts of deep silt. I guess you could say I was in deep silt today. 🙂

Met up with these folks that have been riding all the way from the Canadian border.

So far they have traveled about 2200 miles, averaging about 60 miles a day. I was impressed. I’m thinking it would be a great feat to do this on a motorcycle, but to do it on a bicycle. WOW!

You can’t see it well in these pictures but the road becomes very narrow with deep ravines on both sides. At this point it is more of a single track because the road is not wide enough for a 4 wheel vehicle to ravel and keep all wheels on the road.

Road improves with nice scenery in the valleys and canyons

Pikes Peak or BustPikes Peak or Bust

Well so much for road improving

Every now and then, I come across one of these signs. Cool huh?

After I while, I hit some rain and that makes the silt even slipperier. Surprisingly, I have been able to handle the silt and sand better then I have been able to in the past. One reason is my riding skill has improved slightly but major reason (I think) is the K60 tire I have up front. Its design helps keep the front tire from plowing in the sand.

It’s good to carry extra gas! I needed it.

I’m carrying 2 gallons so there is no problem. 2 gallons should always be able to get me to a gas station or at least a well traveled highway.

I finally make it to Pie Town, NM. As you might of guessed, this town originally got it’s name because it was famous for it’s pies. There are two restaurants here that claim they have good pies. I don’t know which, if either, was the cause for town’s unique name. This is the fist one I came to.

Today is Sunday and they are not open. I’m glad because I may not have gone down the road a bit to find this one.

Everyone here was just gushing with hospitality. Everyone from the cute waitress to the cook came by to visit. It was a remarkable open arms to anyone doing the divide. I have learned that someone riding or hiking the divide is called a “divider”. So I guess I am now a “divider”. How does that go, “I’m a divider, not a uniter”? I may have misquoted that.

The folks at the restaurant wanted to know where I was from and how far up the divide I was going, etc. Everyone, including the patrons, was interested in my stickers that show where I have been. I think the favorite, however, was my “Monkey Butt Powder” sticker

The waitress (did I mention she was cute) gave me a Continental Divide sticker. No I do not have a picture of the cute waitress. My brother caries a small green stuffed bear named “Wallace” that he uses to get cute girls to hold while he takes their picture. I need to get me a stuffed toy to carry with me. I guess I could have said, “here, hold my tank bag”.

Everyone there made me feel very welcomed. It was amazing!

Also there was a lady by the name of Nita that operates a “Divide Hostel”. This was a place that used to be her home, raised kids, etc. Now she allows use of her old home as a stopping off place for folks doing the divide (dividers). Well that sounded like fun, so that’s what I decide to do. Oh, she gave me a Pie Town sticker

Yes I had a late lunch and pie there. I was going to take a picture of the mouthwatering pie, but I ate it.

After my belly was full, I head to the hostel. It is called the “Toaster House”.
Here is why.

Pikes Peak or Bust

The entryway is adorned with toasters. I don’t know why. The whole place is of eclectic (if not eccentric) design. Pretty wild, but I liked it.

Pikes Peak or Bust

Inside

Having never stayed in a hostel in my entire life before, I found this place fascinating. I had the run of the entire house, which was unfortunate because it would have been fun to converse with some other “dividers”

The pantry was full of food. The refrigerator had an abundant supply of frozen pizzas, and full meals. The refrigerator was also well stocked with wine and beer! At least it was when I first got there, not so much by time I left. There was even a box of fresh peaches on the counter.

The house had hot and cold running water, shower and even a washing machine for use by “dividers”. Lots of reading material and board games, etc. The most common way to do the divide (as I have since learned), is via bicycle. Therefore, there was also a supply of bicycle inner-tubes and other repair/maintenance items for bicycles.

The only thing that was asked of you was that you clean up after yourself and to leave a small donation to help offset the expenses of maintaining the hostel. This was not Hilton, but I have stayed in far worse places plus I have never stayed anywhere where they provided me with beer, wine and food. So I left a contribution equivalent to what I would have spent at a motel because I felt it was important that places like this continue to exist.

There are mattresses on the floor, so I put my sleeping bag down on one and spend another night with a smile on my face. Had fun today. Oh, as a sneak preview of things to come. I did not go to sleep with a smile on my face the next night. But for now – at this point in time, I’m still smiling.

– End of Day 4 G’nite Y’all

***** Day 5 *****

Heading north, its pretty much dirt and or dirt gravel roads. For the most part, packed gravel and not too difficult to ride through.

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A good portion of my route is even paved. I’m not opposed to pavement. Sometimes I even like it. About the area of Grants, NM my route goes back to dirt. The topography here is a basin with a lot of ruts in the road from past rains, but rideable. On the route I was following, there showed a waypoint labeled “Wash Out”. Because of the current road condition, I thought it best to attempt to detour around this area. As it turns out, that decision may well have been THE BEGINNING OF THE END.

Interestingly this area is a maze of small roads and trails. Some roads do not show on my GPS or maps as existing and then some roads that are on my maps, don’t exist. Detouring around this was presenting a challenge, but what the hell – it’s all good. I later learned that the detour I was attempting was probably worse then the original route.

Some interesting shots along the way.

Did I mention the road has a lot of ruts? One has to pay close attention. If you don’t, this is what happens.

FALL 1! No Biggie


Lots-o-ruts

Darn. There are no trees to use rope & pulley magic, and I have not seen anyone in this area since I got here, so I have to get it upright the old fashion way. Lift it by myself. From a lot of experience and practice I have determined that my strength threshold is maxed at the weight of the bike stripped. 10 lbs more, and I can’t lift it back up. So, with no other options, I proceed with unloaded the side boxes, removing supplementary gas & water, tools, tank-bag, and anything else I can get off. It’s a real pain in the butt. I either need to get a lighter bike or a stronger me.

My crap

Anyway, after doing all that, I am able to get Scarface upright. Now I have to reload everything. Ugg. But now I’m ready to go. Oneward to Pike’s Peak! (or bust?)

Interesting scenery. Desert like plains with rock outcroppings providing unique picturesque views.

I continue on down the road and …
FALL 2! This one’s a Biggie

Because of the last spill, I was going very slow and careful but in hindsight, I was probably going too slow. I think I would have been better to have ‘powered’ through.

Current time about 3:00pm (I think). I don’t leave this area until about 1000 the next morning. I liked it here?

Anyway, this time it is a problem. I went down HARD. As you can see in the picture, the road was at a slant and I did a hard chest slam on the dirt berm. Hurt like hell. knocked all the wind out (hit in the solar plexus?). For a while I couldn’t breath, was getting dizzy and about to pass out. The only thing I could to do was to grab my SPOT device and press 911.

To the best of my knowledge I did not pass out and was able to resume breathing. I just laid there in the dirt by the bike emitting strange groaning noises. I don’t know for how long. After a while, I crawled back to my bike to get my GPS and was able to determine that the nearest hospital was only about 35 miles (as the crow flies), so help should arrive in a few hours at most. I removed my helmet and made a pillow of my jacket and laid down to continue my practice of emitting moaning sounds. With enough practice, I was becoming proficient at making these noises.

After a few hours. I’m still hurting like hell but no longer felt that I was going to die. At least not right now, not today. I needed help, but I also needed to communicate that I was still here but that my situation was not currently life threatening. On the SPOT, there is another button to send a prescripted text stating I needed non-emergence assistance. This text was actually intended as a follow up to a roadside assistance call, but was the only tool I could think of. For those following this blog, you know it also sent that message to the blog via an automatic email. To set the SPOT up to do that was a last minute idea on my part before I left, and it turned out to be a pretty good idea. So every 2 hours or so, I would send another non-emerg text.

By time it was getting dark, I figured out that I was going to be spending the night here. I’m felling better so I’m able to get my sleeping bag, some food and water and ‘set up camp’ sorta. I have an inflatable air mattress, but I obviously cannot blow it up with my hurt ribs, so I just lay on the hard ground.

There were other options. I have an air compressor to air up tires as well as CO2 cartridges in case the air compressor did not work that I could have used to air the mattress, but I was too sore to get that gear out. So just on the ground tonight. That’s how the boy scouts do it – right? I’m as tough as a boy scout arn’t I? Just slightly older.

– End of day 5. Can’t say good night, but i can say it’s night.

***** Day 6 ******

I wouldn’t say that I slept there, but I most certainly spent the night there. I did not know what kind of critters roam that area at night, so I hadd gotten out my bear spay, took it out of the holster, removed the safty clip and prepaired to spray any thing or anyone that visited me in the nights. The only critters seemed to be lots of nats and flying insects. Sometime during the night the bats came out of the nearby caves and swarmed around eating the bugs. At least that was entertaining.

By 5:00ish, I press the prescripted non-emergency help button again. I’m still hurting, but feeling much better. I turn the SPOT off (thinking that will cancel the 911), and then switch to just plan road side assistance. My thinking was that I could just as well ride out with the tow truck (if they came) as well as I could with a first responder.

The biggest problem with using a SPOT is that it is a one-way communication only. There is no confirmation that it is actually working. After awhile, I decide that the SPOT is not working. I had anticipated a responder to arrive in a few hours. I’ve never had to rescued before, but I just thought it would have be much sooner.

As stated, I had decided that the SPOT was not working and through the night I had already devised a plan that when I got home, I was going to package the SPOT along with a jar of Vaseline and ship it to the SPOT company and see if they could figure out where I wanted them to stick this device.

Unbeknownst to me, my messages are going through and that I have my wife, brother and about 400 fellow motorcycle riders buzzing on the internet about me and how to come help. Wow! This in itself is worthy of a full stand-alone topic. I plan on writing another separate post, outside of this trip report, addressing this “brotherhood”.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch. After 19 – 20 hours, I have determined that SPOT was not working, no one was coming. If I ever wanted out of here, I had to figure out how to do it in my injured condition by myself. Also the bike not being level further complicates the task of setting it upright.

I was not about to try to lift up this beast with injured ribs, so I unloaded everything and attempted to hook up a block and tackle anchoring to some nearby scrub brushes.
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I huff and puff. The bike does not budge an inch, but I have discovered a good method of extracting unsightly scrub brushes.

Well I have another rope, I tie them together, find some larger scrub brushes and come up with some sort of pulley system. I also employ bungee cords, a wheel cable lock, stuff bags and anything else I can find to extend the length and connect to multiple scrub brush. Just call me “Beemer MacGyver”.

I am able to get the bike up a little bit and just before the next batch of scrub brushes become uprooted; I am able to get under the bike enough to lift it up. Yes that hurt. But I am up.

On the off chance that the SPOT is doing anything, I attempt to cancel all help calls and to send an “I’m OK message”. I’m not really, OK, but I’m getting the hell out of here anyway.

I walked down the road a peice to see if continuing forward had better road conditions, but soon gave up on that. At least I know the road conditions behind me and that the town of Grants was back there somewhere. So I get the beast turned around. Somehow, I am able to mount the bike and start riding. That lasted, oh, I guess ½ mile at best. What a dumb idea! Every little bump jostled my ribs and hurt. I get off (actually, I kinda of slide off very ungracefully), and sit by the side of the road. Now what? Wait, walk out?

Just as I was contemplating my next action the Calvary arrives. Literally. First there is a big helicopter that is circling around me to show others my location. Then after a few minutes, there is a state patrol car with lights flashing followed by 4 pickup trucks. One of the trucks is towing a trailer with an ATV and the other pickup has a dirt bike in the bed. I have not seen a sole for two days, then ‘poof’, it looks like the National Guard has arrived.

Two of the trucks were locals that had been enlisted by the state police to help search for me. The other two of the trucks are fellow riders from Albuquerque. As I later find out, my help messages were in fact going through. Because of my messages, there were posts made to various motorcycle Internet forums (Two Wheeled Texans and ADV Rider) to find some fellow riders to assist in locating me. Two fellow riders answered that call and went to considerable expense, distance and time to come help. Isn’t that amazing? I had never met them before in my life, yet they go to all this trouble to come help. After I got home and was able to look on the Internet sites, it looks like about 400 folks were either involved or concerned with my rescue.

Anyway, after the dust settles and I deal with the first responders, etc. The fellow riders load my bike on one of their trucks and we head off to Albuquerque. We store my bike at a BMW dealership there, and then he takes me to a hospital.
I check in and after waiting for 5 or 6 hrs at the emergency room to be seen, I gave up. Called a taxi and headed to a motel. My understanding is that it doesn’t matter if your ribs are bruised, cracked, broken or bent. The treatment is the same – go home and rest.

-End of Day 6. Still not a good night, but I’m in a nice motel room with a bed!

***** Day 7 *****


I was hoping that by the next morning, I would be feeling better and could head home. Next morning came, a little better but not much. But it was time to head home and to fly home and have my bike shipped later was going to be a big hassle, so I decided to ride home.

I am fine when sitting still, so I might as well sit on the bike. Well that seemed logical to me at the time

With a little help from the dealership, I was able to be mounted on my stead and off I go. I cannot get on the bike by myself. This ought to be interesting.

After a while, I remember my tires are still at 20psi. Not good for the highway. To try and get down on the ground to air the tires was notan appealing thought. So I continued to use the motorcycle brotherhood. I see a biker at a station; explain the situation and he airs up my tires and then helps me back on. I have to stop for gas twice, and each time I find a biker to fill me up so I don’t have to get off the bike.

I make it to Lubbock, find a motel, slide off and take baby steps to the check in desk. I looked like the “old man” character played by Tim Conway in the Carol Burnett shows.

– End of Day 7

***** Day 8 *****


In the morning, I enlist the assistance of a young Marine private that was in the lobby with his parents to get me on the bike. This young man looked strong enough to just lift me up and put me on the bike, but I told him if he could just help me get my leg over, that would be sufficient. I didn’t tell him I was ex-Army and that we hated Marines. Right now it was more of a “brother in arms” kinda thing.

Not as many bikers out and about today, so I had to resort to asking “normal” people for assistance. At one station I had asked the person filling up next to me for help., he just looked at me funny and walked away. I held up my credit card explaining I wasn’t asking him to buy my gas, just to stick my card in the machine and help me with the nozzle. At that point, he got in his car and drove away. But I was eventually able to find folks to help.

The proof that I now no longer have any pride came closer to home. I was thinking how nice it would be to get home and have some “frozen concoction”. I remember that I had margarita mix but that I was out of tequila. I go through a liquor store with a drive up window. I buy some tequila and then I talk the lady in coming out and strapping it to the back of my bike. See, I have no shame.

I make it home, slide off the bike, put “booze in the blender”, sit in my recliner, rest, drink frozen concoctions, and begin planning my next misadventure.
– End of Day 8, end of trip. It was a bust.

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  1. But wait! Answer the most important question. Was your brother right that deep off road adventures are not a good idea? Did you learn that SPOT is not a cure all? And that you should always listen to your older, wiser brother?

  2. Yikes Bob! Haven’t followed any of the trip on TWT or your site…makes the first issue with your SPOT near Llano seem mild!
    Heal well and seeya soon…your one tough(stubborn 🙂 ) rider.

  3. Funny stuff, Bob! Even the uncomfortable parts were amusing, since I was not there. 😀

    I gotta agree with Mistah Hazard about the off road part there though. I’m beginning to think it’s just a really bad idea to treat 600 lb machines like they was actually dirt bikes. Doing same in Left Field & Gone New Mexico or parts even less accessible…well, I think it’s a worse idea.

    We can fight it out at breakfast next time! ❤ Shell @ HCBMWR

  4. […] a BMW R1200GS, starting at the Mexican border, but I only made it just a tad north of Grants, NM (Long story). This time I will be on a Ural with 2 wheel drive and setup for off-roading. I can pretty much go […]


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